JACKSON, Miss. — Davis RileyHe started hot and kept his bogeys off his cards until the end for a 6-under score of 66 and a share in the lead Thursday with Will GordonHe is currently playing in the Sanderson Farms Championship on the PGA Tour, which he considers his fifth major.
Riley was born in Hattiesburg, 90 miles from his hometown. Riley can still remember playing at the Country Club of Jackson as a youngster. He was hitting fairway metals into par 4s.
He is coming off an impressive rookie season that saw him narrowly miss out on the Tour Championship. It seems like he is off and running. Riley wonders if Riley has made too much of his affection for the PGA Tours Mississippi stop by being open about it.
It wasn’t an issue Thursday. He saved par by making an 8-foot putt on his opening hole, dealt with the par 5s on the front nine, and then he threw in two 12-foot birdies.
I have so many family and friends here. I want to perform. Riley stated that it would be an extraordinary tournament to win. I just have the ability to take it day-by–day and treat it as any other tournament. Its easy not to feel that extra pressure, but that can hinder your ability to play your best game of golf.
Im going day-by-day to keep the stress-free game of golf that I played today.
Riley hit a shot from the rough on the final hole to navigate a tree, and came up just short the green. He pitched to 6 feet, and finished the round with a bogey-free round.
Champion of defense Sam BurnsOne week after being part of the U.S. winning the Presidents Cup, he opened with a 70.
Gordon did most his work late in round. He birdied the par-5 14th at 20 feet, then drove to the edge on the par-4 15th for a quick up-and down and made birdie on 17th at 12 feet.
Riley and Gordon were ahead of eight players, which also included Gordon. Christiaan BezuidenhoutSouth Africa, who went 1-1-1 in his Presidents Cup debut last Wednesday.
Due to only having played two matches, fatigue wasnt an issue. It was Sundays party that nearly did him in. Bezuidenhout took to the skies Monday to continue his momentum into Mississippi.
He stated, You learn so much playing against the best players in world, We were up against a strong U.S. squad last week. If you are playing against the best players in the game, you can play your own game every week and you will get better.
Mark HubbardOn his final hole at No. 12, he missed a 12-footer. 9 that would have given him a share the lead.
Burns played bogey-free. He also had a few birdies but none on the par 5. Burns missed three fairways on the par 5, and the one fairway that he did hit, he pulled into a small, bush-filled ravine. Burns was able to make par by hacking his way around the green.
His season began well at Sanderson Farms a year ago. He won two more times, in playoffs at Colonial over and the Valspar Championship. Scottie SchefflerHe made his debut in the cup.
Burns stated, Just couldn’t really get much out there. Golf course played quite difficult, but overall not bad round.